We wanted to make sure our users get the best quality product for their gardens. Since composting was a new process for many of us, we got the help of Dr. V.A Ramakrishna Parama from the University of Agricultural Sciences, a premier research institution in Bangalore for research in organic composting.
Dr. Parama guided us on the process of Windrow composting, the optimal size of the piles and the frequency of turning to be repeated every 3-4 weeks. His lab analysed the compost samples. They were quite surprised by the good quality produced by novices! When he asked about the content that went into the compost: dry leaves of avenue trees, mainly Honge, a local hard wood tree traditionally known for its nitrogen fixing ability, and the cow dung slurry, he said this contributed to the good N content in this compost. With the C:N ratio of 22:1 this was better than other leaf compost available. Also the careful processing of this by our dedicated staff mean there were no soil and other seed inclusions as well which is normally present in other sources like farm animal manure.
Here are the technical results from the lab tests:
In summary, this is well composted organic matter with the high levels of humic acid indicative of the rich organic origin that would add to the soil microbe richness, the high organic Carbon and Nitrogen content would provide good essential nutrients for plants, and a base pH indicative of this being safe for most plants. This can be supplemented with other organic matter like compost from kitchen waste to improve the N and K further.
The traditional processes adopted by our staff, like the addition of cow dung and different stages of decomposition was a key step and the careful selection of leaves and through removal of all other contaminants including stones, rocks, plastics and a fully decomposed compost meant your plants are safe and there would be no new weeds sprouting too.
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